Regarded by many as the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael ‘Air’ Jordan played in the NBA from 1984 to 2003. He represented the Bulls for all but one of those campaigns, when he suited up for the Washington Wizards. He famously retired twice, the first in 1994 and the second after 1998. In between, he managed to accumulate an emphatic 6-0 record in the Finals, picking up the Finals MVP in each of those runs.
Jordan played mostly as a Shooting Guard and ended his career with the highest Points per game average of any other player with 30.1ppg. His scoring exploits are next to none, winning the NBA scoring Champion award on a record 10 occasions between 1987-93 and then again between 1996-98.
Jordan was also one of the best defensive players in the league, making the All-NBA defensive first team a record 9 times, a record shared with Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant. He topped the steals on three separate occasions and over the course of his career decided many games with his work at the less glamorous end of the court.
MJ, as he is popularly known, was especially dangerous in the playoffs, where he averaged over 33ppg. After a few years of struggle initially, Jordan was finally able to break through and found his calling, winning 6 titles in 8 years.
Between 1991-1998, Jordan played in 6 NBA Finals and won all of them. The only loss in the post season for Chicago with Jordan in their uniform came in 1995, when the Orlando Magic knocked them out in the Eastern Conference. Other than that, Jordan had a flawless record in the 8 years, retiring in the 1994 season to play baseball and come back the following year.
Jordan was especially troubled by the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics in his early years, having to overcome these two great dynasties and the Los Angeles Lakers to win his first titles. The ‘Bad Boys’ Pistons were especially troublesome due to their physical and intimidating nature. They devised the infamous ‘Jordan Rules’ to try and stop the Bulls guard, but nothing could deny the Air man.
Michael Jordan was something else. This generation of hoops fans just don’t know what a gamechanger he was. pic.twitter.com/MEmQGkvunL
— Adam Joseph (@AdamJosephSport) August 7, 2017
And finally, Jordan was one of the first and still one of the greatest dunkers of the basketball. He is a multiple time slam dunk champion and his duel with Dominique Wilkins is still one of the best showdowns in history. His dunk from the free throw line is the stuff of legends and his athleticism remains unmatched. There is a reason this man was called “His Airness”. He could fly like no other and hang in the air for as long as he wanted to.
Jordan took the game to new heights both on and off the pitch. He became an ambassador for the game and is still one of the most recognizable names in the world of sports. A businessman and owner of the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets, Jordan has remained active in the game that gave him so much and continues to inspire and help millions of people around the world. Every player and organization associated with the NBA and basketball in general owe a debt of gratitude to this man for all that he is done and given to the sport.
Photo by thenext28days